Can the artists save the Salton Sea?
CALIFORNIA’S LAZY political leaders and their environmental allies are scrambling to solve the state’s worst-ever water shortage.
The Salton Sea — roughly the size of California’s state capital — had long ago been considered a national disaster when California water managers declared a drought emergency in January 1975 after the reservoir that serves the Salton Sea fell to 1.5 million acre-feet of water over a six-year period.
And so, in response to the growing crisis, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency created the Salton Sea National Monument, with a goal of protecting the water and wildlife that call the Salton Sea home.
Just two years later, the monument was expanded to include the entire basin beneath the sea.
It’s hard to imagine the Salton Sea National Monument. Its dry, brown salt plains and dry, salty ocean waters have a desiccant effect on most desert landscapes in the region. It’s hard to imagine how it’s affecting any desert landscape on the planet.
And yet, the Salton Sea National Monument is now known as the country’s first official National Park, with a mission to preserve the unique geography of the Salton Sea.
And in the meantime, some of the Salton Sea’s greatest treasures seem to be in danger.
A national monument is a conservation area of land, and the Salton Sea is already under threat from thirsty golf courses.
And the park may be under threat by developers and wealthy environmentalists who believe the monument will bring them more revenue from an already-over-inflated value of $1.8 billion.
But now, with the Salton Sea National Monument under threat, and with President Donald Trump’s Department of the Interior seeking to remove the Salton Sea National Monument altogether, some of California’s greatest advocates for environmental protections are scrambling to save what they can.
And while many of the organizations and individuals involved in the current Salton Sea campaign are passionate and passionate about trying to save the Salton Sea from becoming a mere nature preserve, their campaign has one major difference from one side to the other: They all want to save the Salton Sea National Monument and restore it to it’